Love in photographs: Pablo Picasso and Olga Khokhlova

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In 1917, Pablo Picasso, trying to recover from the death of his beloved Eva, decided to go to Rome and take part in creating the scenery for Diaghilev's ballet Parade. He agreed to this adventure only because he was a close friend of Jean Cocteau, who sincerely believed in the success of the ballet. The performance of the Diaghilev troupe gathered many stars: the music was written by Eric Sati, the choreography was set by Leonid Myasin, and Cocteau created the libretto. At one of the ballet rehearsals, Picasso saw Olga Khokhlova, the daughter of a colonel who was born in Nizhyn and moved to Paris to study ballet.

He was captivated by the strict beauty of the girl, and the artist began to endlessly paint her portraits and look after her. Diaghilev, seeing that Picasso is not indifferent to one of the ballerinas from his troupe, immediately warned the artist: "You will not be able to just have fun with her like those who marry her." Indeed, Olga had strict morals and at 26 was still innocent and cherished herself for an “ideal husband”. She became the first woman that Pablo introduced to his mother. During the meeting, Maria Picasso said: "Poor girl, what a pity that you and I are not friends and I can not save you from this guy, he will always be concerned only with himself."

A year later, in 1918, Olga and Pablo got married. The artist was sure that this was love for life, therefore, with a light hand, he signed a marriage contract, which stated that in the event of a divorce, half of the paintings and jointly acquired property would be transferred to Khokhlova. The first years of the marriage went perfectly: the couple constantly appeared at social events together, bought up real estate, cars and led a beautiful lifestyle – as Olga wanted. At that time, Picasso painted many of her portraits, the former ballerina did not tolerate and did not understand cubism and insisted that her husband paint her in the style of classicism.

In 1921, Olga gave birth to a son, whom they decided to call Paul. At this time, Picasso went headlong into family life – he creates one of his most famous works, “A Woman with a Child on the Seashore”.

The couple’s idyll continued, and it seemed that only death could tear them apart. But after a couple of years, Picasso starts a mistress – 17-year-old Maria-Teresa Walter, whom the artist met not far from the “Galeries Lafayette”. Without thinking twice, Picasso decides to settle a passion in front of his house, on the pretext that he needs to work on new portraits. Olga perfectly understood what was happening in that house, but because she continued to love her genius, she forgave her husband. During this period, Picasso behaves very aggressively with his wife, he does not hide his irritation and against this background draws ugly portraits of Olga. This madness lasted 8 years, until one fine day Picasso's mistress knocked on the door with a baby in her arms and said: "Here is another Picasso creation." After that, Olga took the son of Paul and left for the south of France.

Picasso's legal wife Olga Khokhlova remained for another 20 years, the artist categorically did not want to give her half of her property, and Olga, in turn, nourished the hope that her husband would walk up and return. But that will not happen. Suffering from cancer, almost losing the ability to walk and think, Olga died in 1955. Picasso did not come to the funeral on the pretext that he needed to paint a new picture.

See also: Scientists have created an algorithm that completed the paintings of Pablo Picasso


                                                            Pablo Picasso,
                                                            Olga Khokhlova

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